The old adage, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is, simply put, a lie. The very fact that we have such an adage only proves that words do hurt. And not only can words hurt, but the emotional wounds caused often take much longer to heal than physical wounds caused by “sticks and stones.” Claiming that words “will never hurt me” is simply a feeble attempt to downplay the emotional damage words cause, words that every one of us have had hurled at us at one point in our lives. A cliche like this is, at best, a coping mechanism and like most coping mechanisms, does nothing but get in the way of healing. The reality is, words, especially depending upon who said them, can project such powerful lies that they keep us from living in freedom and joy. This is a huge issue today, as has been throughout history, and it is one that Jesus has quite a lot to say about. In Matthew 5:21-26, Jesus likens contempt-filled words to murder. This is true on two fronts (at least). One, anger is the root of murder- murder most often begins with anger of one form or another. And two, hurtful words, even if they don’t lead to literal murder have the effect of murdering the identity of the one to whom they are spoken. But, take heart, God has the power of resurrection!
July 7, 2011
Saturday 7.9.11 @ Gather